2020-04-24 03:34:15 UTC
app and started watching races from when I first started watching F1.
The F1 TV website has races going back to 1981, which is pretty close to
the years I first started watching the show (though wish they had races
going back to 1978 at least). Now, it's quite eye opening how much has
changed between now and then. I've been watching since the 80's, and I
know there have been changes but it's hard to put your finger on
everything that's changed, if you've been following it the slow way,
year after year. But when do the big rewind, OMG, it's a revelation!
For example, we complain about how much more competitive it was back
then, compared to now, there were so many different winners from so many
different teams back then. What I'm starting to remember about racing
back in the early 80's is that it was often based on random chance about
who wins it. Somebody might be leading most of the race, and then all of
a sudden his car fails, this happened quite a bit in the 80's. It wasn't
that people were passing each other all that much more often, people
were inheriting wins just by having a more reliable car during that race.
Another complaint we have these days is that too much passing is done in
the pits, compared to before. This is true, but that's because in the
past they never used the pitstops as strategic maneuvers. In fact,
they'd avoid doing pitstops if at all possible for the whole race. If a
car came into the pits back then, people would be trying to figure out
what's wrong with the car that it needed to come into the pits? Just
changing tires took over 10 seconds, rather than today's best-in-class
2.5 second stops. These days we wonder what went wrong if the stop took
more than 3.5 seconds.
There was an example from 1982's South African GP, where the two Renault
cars of Prost and Arnoux qualified on the front row of the GP. Somewhere
in the middle of the race Prost's car developed a puncture, the tire
delaminated, and Prost made it back to the pits on 3 wheels, but not
before the blown tire had slapped the bodywork of his car to all hell,
lots of aerodynamic pieces got slapped off. In the meantime, his
teammate Arnoux was continuing on, no blown tires, and his bodywork was
completely intact. Before the end of the race, Prost took his damaged
Renault and got it ahead of undamaged Renault of Arnoux and won the
race! So basically Prost was lucky to have gotten a puncture, because it
allowed him to change his tires. These days, this is already known
about, the teams all know how much life a tire has on it, and they plan
ahead of time to come in and change it. This was unthinkable back then!
Just saying, that if we think we can recapture a bit of the nostalgia of
the past, we can't, F1 is just too sophisticated and professional these
days to go back to the way things were back then. It's a victim of its
own success. And I really don't think we'd want to see things go back to
way things were back then!